Table of Contents
ISRN Anatomy
Volume 2013, Article ID 962904, 4 pages
Research Article

Branching Pattern of Inferior Mesenteric Artery in a Black African Population: A Dissection Study

Department of Human Anatomy, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 30197, Nairobi 00100, Kenya

Received 8 August 2012; Accepted 10 September 2012

Academic Editors: A. Kahraman, B. Mitchell, and G. Paraskevas

Copyright © 2013 Simeon Sinkeet et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Branching pattern of inferior mesenteric artery (IMA) and pattern of vascular supply to the left colon and rectosigmoid areas, though important during colorectal surgery, display interethnic variations. Further, these regions have notable vascular “weak points” reported to be highly susceptible to ischemic colitis. This study aimed at evaluating the branching pattern of IMA in a black African population. Materials and Methods. Fifty-seven formalin-embalmed cadavers (28 Male, 27 Female) were studied. The length, branching pattern, and diameter of IMA at its origin were recorded. Results. IMA mean length and diameter at origin were  mm and  mm, respectively. IMA most frequently branched into left colic artery and a common sigmoid trunk in 23 cases while the classical branching pattern was observed in only 7 cases. Colic marginal artery was absent at the splenic flexure and sigmoid colon in 7 and 5 cases, respectively. Arc of Riolan was observed in 9 cases. Conclusion. Branching pattern of IMA shows variations from the previously reported cases which might help account for some of the untoward outcomes observed following colon surgery. An angiographic study to further delineate functionality of the arterial anastomoses in this region is recommended.